Opioid overdose and deaths are one of the most urgent public health threats facing cities and communities throughout the country. Presently, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. and drug overdose rates are increasing – among men and women of all ages and races. The opioid epidemic is a cross-cutting national problem, with all 50 states and the District of Columbia experiencing increases in drug misuse and overdose rates. Overdoses, from either prescription or illicit opioids, have led to over 33,000 deaths nation-wide in 2015, and over 40,000 deaths in 2016. The opioid related death toll is expected to rise again in 2017. Thus far, the epidemic has cost the United States over $78.5 billion.
The Big Cities Health Coalition has created a resource page to track what’s being done around the nation, from policy to public health, to address the opioid epidemic. Check the website out and be sure to learn what BCHC and its members are doing to address this issue.